Thursday, December 12, 2013

EELV Competition Legislation

The NDAA is being done a bit differently this year.
This legislation is substantially based on two bills: (1) HR. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY14 which passed the House on June 14, 2013 by a vote of 315-108; and (2) S.1197, a product of the Senate Armed Services Committee which passed out of committee on the same day by a vote of 23-3.

Because passing this legislation before the end of the calendar year is vital, these two products were merged through a series of negotiations at all levels of the House and Senate. Negotiators also considered, and in many cases included, a number of proposals offered by members of both parties that were intended for consideration by the full Senate. This legislation represents a broad bi-partisan consensus about America’s national security goals, resources, and policies.
The text of the "pre-conferenced" bill is available on the House Armed Services Committee site.

One of the interesting portions is Section 145: Competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Providers.
The Secretary of the Air Force shall develop a plan to implement the new acquisition strategy for the evolved expendable launch vehicle program described in the acquisition decision memorandum dated November 27, 2012.
The acquisition decision memorandum mentioned in the law is described in this article. The plan is supposed to include:
  • proposed cost, schedule and performance
  • mission assurance activities
  • manner in which the contractor will operate under the Federal Acquisition Regulations
  • the effect of other contracts in which the contractor is entered into with the Federal Government, including the evolved expendable launch vehicle launch capability contract, the space station commercial resupply services contracts, and other relevant contracts regarding national security space and strategic programs
That last portion is most interesting to me. What are the effects of the CRS contract, and the infrastructure subsidy contract on competition for EELV-class launches?

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